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As outmoded as they can seem, I haven't completely written books off yet. Whether you want to sit somewhere without a computer and think, or just look up a quick fact in a familiar text, old fashioned paper is sometimes the way to go...

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The Case for Mars


The book that started it all. It was the surprising sales numbers and international interest in this book that drove its co-author, Robert Zubrin, to found The Mars Society. While I'd held an interest in general space issues with some focus on Mars, this book pulled me in. It's realistic, near-term plans to take people to Mars changed a lot of minds related to the topic.

Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization


Robert Zubrin's second book takes a bigger picture look at space in general, and the role it can play in our future. Starting from low Earth orbit, Dr. Zubrin discusses stepping stones that likely will and won't work to take us out of the cradle, to Mars and beyond.

When You Ride Alone You Ride with Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism


What if the War on Terrorism was fought like a classic war on the homefront, with people asked to make sacrifices (beyond delayed screening at airports) as part of the effort? I bought this book for my father, who was 12 when Pearl Harbor was bombed, but the WWII theming, with government posters from the 40's being altered to today's fight, hit home with me. Would you accept gas rationing if it meant our troops would come home sooner, or has America changed that much since WWII? The Bill Maher wit is surely present, but there's also some very insightful commentary. This book contains blurbs on the back from Ann Coulter, Michael Moore, and Al Franken. Something for everyone!


Human Spaceflight: Mission Analysis and Design

Purchase Human Spaceflight at Amazon

This is a hard-core reference book, with subjects ranging across the challenge of human spaceflight. From life support through trajectory analysis, from radiation hazzards through surface mobility, if you want to be able to talk intelligently about human spaceflight, this is where you ought to start.

Spacecraft Life Support and Biospherics

Purchase Spaceflight Life Support and Biospherics

For a more in-depth look at options for space mission life support, this is the book for you. It reviews methods used in past and present spacecraft, then describes what's on the development track, and what's possible. It even includes some discussion of Biosphere II, and where it's lessons can and can't be applied.

The Complete Guide to Self Publishing

Purchase The Complete Guide to Self Publishing

While I wrestled with the idea and process of writing a book, a friend recommended this book to me. In the end, Tom and Marylin Ross' work affected the book that I wrote, even though I didn't take their advice and publish on my own. If you are at all interested in writing a book, I recommend this book as an introduction to the entire process of writing, manufacturing, and hyping a book because it will give you a background in all the steps required, whether or not you do them yourself (self-publish) or get someone else to do them for you (traditional publishing, or some publish-on-demand services).


First Landing

Purchase Robert Zubrin's First Landing at Amazon

After his first nonfiction efforts, Robert Zubrin changed direction a bit and wrote First Landing. This story of the first mission to Mars and its difficulties examines some of the issues that a Mars mission would face, although I think many of them would have to have been worked out before such a mission flew. I enjoyed the book, and it could be made into a movie without cutting much out.

As it is on Mars (first of a 3 book series)


Two missions to Mars have failed in drastically different ways, and humankind has to come to grips with the loss of everyone sent to the fourth rock from the sun...or do they.

While this book has its problems (typos, glaring foreshadowing) I enjoyed it immensely. Survivors of two Mars missions work together to live despite a planet that's given up on them.

Give us this Mars


A few years after the events in As it is on Mars, Earth sends a mission to the red planet...but what is the mission's true objective?

Quite different in tone than the first book, this one is more of an action-adventure story told in the backdrop of a new frontier. Many of the typo-problems were improved, and I really enjoyed the story, but the glaring foreshadowing remained. A lot of good ground discussing ownership of property.

Glory be to Mars


Years have passed, and the colony on Mars is thriving. Certain parties on Earth, however, feel they have a score to settle with the Martians and launch a war party to the Red Planet. Given the technological edge of the enemy, how can the Martains defend themselves?

This was a fitting end to the trilogy. I had trouble putting it down, and enjoyed the read.

The Updated Past, Present and Possible Futures of Space Activity